Physics Professor is new Master of Grey College
(21 October 2003)
A leading expert in the technology that offers a potentially less hazardous alternative to X-rays has joined Durham University in a dual role.
Professor Martyn Chamberlain has been appointed as Master of Grey College and also to a Chair in the Department of Physics.
At Grey he takes charge of one of the University’s 15 residential colleges, and in Physics he brings the benefit of extensive research in one of the last unexplored regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
His main interest is the area of Terahertz technology, which offers many possibilities in imaging, and could be a useful addition to X-rays for medical use. This is because a wide variety of common materials, such as living tissue, plastics, clothing, cardboard and semiconductors are semi-transparent at Terahertz frequencies. Terahertz radiation is sensitive to the chemical make-up of materials, in a way that is not possible with X-rays.
Moreover, the use of Terahertz is less hazardous than X-rays. Terahertz technology could also have security and screening applications, for example screening sealed envelopes, testing for the presence of drugs and explosives secreted on the person, and in the assessment of cosmetics.
Sir Kenneth Calman, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “We are fortunate to welcome Professor Chamberlain to Grey College and to our world-class research community. This is an excellent appointment.”
Notes to Editors:
- Biographical summary: Professor Chamberlain comes to Durham from the University of Leeds. Previously he gained an MA and DPhil from the University of Oxford, from where he also graduated with a BA in Natural Sciences.
From 1972 until 1999 he was at the University of Nottingham, initially as Lecturer in Experimental Physics then as Senior Lecturer and after that as Reader. He has been Professor of Engineering Physics at the University of Leeds, where he also was Director of Research and Director of the Institute of Microwaves & Photonics.
- Grey College has about 750 of the University’s 12000 students. The College has students on the full range of Durham degree programmes. The previous master, Mr Victor Watts, died in December 2002.
- Physics is one of Durham’s strongest science departments for international – class research covering new materials, communications, particle physics and the growth of the universe.
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